LASIK Stories, Opinions and Letters

Write to Lasik Complications

We want to hear from you! If you have something you would like published, please let us know. Or just drop us a line. We welcome emails from anyone with an interest in LASIK, including the medical community. Even personal injury attorneys are welcome to write us -- you're ok with us! We especially enjoy hearing from prospective patients who found this site and learned about the real risks of LASIK -- it makes all of our efforts worthwhile. We respect all requests for anonymity. Email your thoughts to lasikcomplications AT yahoo DOT com (please excuse the anti-spam email format).

Message from reader - 4/27/2021

I had LASIK about 19 years ago at 27. Afterward I suffered a severe migraine that lasted 2 months. I felt dizzy and had trouble seeing in low light and at night. Fast forward to me now being 46. Over the last 19 years, I have been depressed and suffering debilitating headaches due to my left eye not seeing properly in dim light. It feels like I have lived with one contact lens on leaving the other eye "uncorrected". I finally was told what was wrong. My pupil is larger than the correction area from LASIK. When I was administered a "P drop" I saw perfectly. Sharp as a pin in dark light. I cried. If only it was permanent. The drop wears off after a few hours and I cannot use it constantly because of my eye shape with my astigmatism. I still have issues to this day and it has cost me countless medical bills, MRIs of my brain, countless eye doctor visits and vision that cannot be corrected with glasses or contacts, only a P drop, that wears off and I can only use intermittently. LASIK ruined my life.

Photographer loses vision after laser eye surgery - Amanda's story 2/2/2019

“I’m sorry we don’t have more answers for you. Right now, we are just trying to save your actual eye.”

These are the words that forever changed my life, that repeatedly echo through my head still. It was hard to believe that just one week earlier, I sat up from a quick and simple LASIK eye procedure with the best vision I had ever had in my life. The procedure had gone perfectly, according to my doctor. I had been able to see and read a clock across a room, nothing short of a miracle, for me. And, now my husband and I sat and listened to the same Dr. and my new corneal specialist say that there was a chance I would lose my eye. How did this happen? Continue reading

LASIK patient with eye pain - December 2018

What happens with these other elective surgeries is terrible but lasik is the only elective surgery to my knowledge that results in so many suicides. There are two reasons for this.

First, humans have five senses but by far the most important organs of sense are our eyes. We perceive up to 80% of all impressions by means of our sight. Therefore, when vision is compromised, it has a devastating effect on a person’s quality of life.

Second, the cornea is the most densely innervated tissue of the body. For comparison, the cornea has 300-600 times the sensory innervation density of the skin. This dense innervation is necessary since the cornea is the first line of defense against injury to the eye. These nerves prevent you from “poking your eye out.”

LASIK cuts through these corneal nerves. When the nerves are cut or injured they regrow and some end up deformed. The aberrant nerve regeneration results in eyes feeling pain where pain doesn’t exist since the pain receptors of the eye are misfiring (phantom pain syndrome.) Remember, these pain receptors are extremely sensitive (300-600 times the sensory innervation of skin.) Continue reading

Juan 2/25/2018

I am from Monterrey, Mexico. Had LASIK in Vidaurri Oftalomologia. Recognized clinic in my city. Was 18 years at that time and was told I was candidate for the surgery. Surgery only costed around 300 dlls at that time. Never was mentioned about any risks. Days after the surgery I could see without glasses! Now comes the ugly part. 4 years later suffered from Post Lasik Ectasia which can ONLY get vision fixed with complicated special custom contact lenses which a pair can cost +3000 dlls and need to be replaced every few years, otherwise I cant see a thing with it. Right eye can get some decent vision with regular glasses but is still NOT the same vision i had before lasik, otherwise I also need a complicated special custom contact lens on it. After numerous lies from the doctor (one being that Crosslinking procedure performed by her would recover 50% of my vision which of course never happened) I asked for all my scans from before the surgery and turns out I wasn't even a candidate for the surgery (according to numerous other doctors from Mexico and USA Ive seen). Of course the lasik doctor to this day says I was a perfect candidate, and the fault is on my "genes", and even was trying to convince me to get ANOTHER procedure done called intracorneal rings to "fix" my ectasia (by that time I simply did not trusted her). I find sad that this procedure is still being performed and to me it looks like the surgeons simply hide the long term risks for economic benefit. My advice, keep your glasses and stay away from lasik doctors. And ALWAYS do your research online. Im glad this website exists for people considering this greedy procedure.

Steven 8/1/2016

I had normal reading vision prior to undergoing LASIK to clear up some distance vision problems in my left eye. Post LASIK I have double vision near and far and the doctor has no solutions to correct it. I have received 2 other consults from optometrists to see about getting corrective lenses and they cannot correct the vision due to the surgery. As a pilot and a medical student I now worry if I'll ever be able continue flying and if I'll be able to see well enough to graduate my surgical training.

Susan 11/26/2015

I received Lasik July of 2014. I had nearsightedness and it was perfect after the Lasik. But then, I've had problems ever since. My eyes are unbelivably dry and I was on Rx eye drops which I never noticed them improving my dry eye except right when I put the drops in, just like all the other drops I've tried since. I also have sudden stabbing eye pain that scares me everytime it happens because I think what the heck was that about?... Continue reading

Dan D. 6/9/2015

Another one bites the dust. (microkeratome and excimer laser, Oct 14, 2014). Carelessly evaluated, misinformed, deviant marketing and "sales" tactics... This industry knows exactly what they are doing. There is active suppression of the facts. My poor outcome is stretching my mind to its very limits. I contemplate suicide. Continue reading

Anonymous 5/5/2015

I also wanna say thank you to everyone who told their story. Back when I developed an allergy to multipurpose contact lens solution (though I didn't know what was causing my contact lens intolerance at the time), I was considering LASIK because I have an active lifestyle and glasses just fall off my face when I sweat and move about. I got to the point of visiting a LASIK clinic and discussing it with them. My instinct didn't quite trust them, they seemed to gloss over complications and other possible "side effects" (e.g. I logically thought that correcting my myopia could lead to loss of my excellent close-up vision. When I asked if that was possible and they said "not at all", I got suspicious). So I didn't make an appointment right then but went home to do research online. What I researched seemed to all support the "safety" of LASIK and so I was still seriously considering it.

Then the following blessings saved my vision: Continue reading

This website saved my eyesight - 2/14/2015

I have been using glasses since I was 6 years old. I am -6.50 in both eyes. I grew up with everyone telling me someday I'd get lasik and be fine, that I wouldn't have to use glasses forever. I decided to go to a well-known eye hospital in my city to see what they could do for me. They told me they did not recommend any technology as of yet to fix my vision. I wanted a second opinion. I went to a different outpatient setting specifically for lasik who checked my eyes and told me they could definitely perform the surgery using lasik. No one bothered to explain the risks. When I asked about potential complications they basically said there were none. I also found out I would meet the doctor the day of the surgery. They also said if I signed up the month of, they would discount it. I asked how much it would be for the next month, they said it would go up over 1000k. I made my appointment because this was the solution to my eye sight I always dreamed of, and this office was recommended to me by a friend. But something didn't feel quite right. I did some research into the procedure and found this website. The information is invaluable. I could not find it in me to ignore the stories and the letters. I did some research even further into the surgeon and found he had cases open due to missteps on his clients during these surgeries! I called the center to cancel my appointment. They tried to haggle me into it telling me things like "if you wait any longer it won't be fixable" and trying to bring down the price even more. I had to refuse over five times, each time them trying to get me to question my choice. I truly see now that these aren't surgical procedures to them. We are paychecks. I will never get this surgery and I cannot be more glad. I've also convinced my loved ones to do the same. I will take my blurry but healthy vision with me to the grave. Thank you for making this website. It saved my eyesight. 

Carl - 12/19/2014

Had Epi-Lasik in 2008 and wish every day I had never had it. I have recurring corneal erosions, my eyes are very sensitive to touch. If they get a slight bump it feels like I just got jabbed in the eye with a stick. In February after a horrible morning due to corneal erosion I discovered on top of being in massive pain my vision read full of yellow cobwebs and a nice blurry spot in my right eye. Had my eyes checked out finally and turns out I now have lattice degeneration, which is atrophy and hardening of the retina. This eventually leads to retina detachment. I wish I had never gone through with this surgery. Driving at night is now much harder as all lights are surrounded by a halo, I have double vision with anything bright, and is just hard to see.

LASIK patient describes living with LASIK complications - 12/5/2014

Lasik/PRK Amazon Deal Gone Bad - 9/24/2014

I am 43 yrs old, born and raised in Cincinnati, and always dreamed of corrective eye surgery. I did research for over ten years, waiting for the price to drop, and this summer I received an Amazon email notification of a $2,000 deal with a Manhattan doctor on the upper east side. I hit the purchase button and made the appt to get the ball rolling with the first consultation. I could not wait to finally be contact/glasses free! The assistant did the eye exams with the machines and rays of light that shine into each eye and some eye drops that made my eyes very sensitive to light and another eye test was made after 20 minutes. I was asked to wait for the doctor to see me in another room. When I got face time with the eye doctor, the assistant reviewed the results with him in front of me. I had high eye pressure and thin corneas. Continue reading

Trent - 9/23/2014

I had LASIK performed in 2000 by TLC. They performed initial surgery but after complaints from me regarding poor vision-- particularly in the evening--they , decided to "touch up" each eye for perfect vision with a second procedure. For 2-3 years I kept going back complaining about my vision acuity digressing. Finally they sent me to UNC hospitals in Chapel Hill where I was diagnosed with keratoconus/ectasia. I now wear scleral lens, with some challenges, but able go see ok for 8- 10 hours a day with them in. If I knew in 2000 the potential pitfalls, including greed mal-practice on the part of TLC, I would have opted out of the surgeries.

Diana - 8/10/2014

I just want to say thank you for your website! I am very nearsighted (-5.25 with astigmatism in my right eye and -6.75 in my left) and have worn glasses or contacts every day since I was 8 years old (I am 32 now). As a teenager, I dreamed of the day when I would become an adult and could finally get my eyes lasered so that I'd never have to wear glasses or contacts again. (Un)fortunately for me, my prescription kept worsening slightly during my early adulthood years, so I never got around to getting the procedure done. By this point, I could not tolerate contacts on a daily basis anymore because of dryness, so I was in glasses almost every day. Once my prescription stabilized, I started looking into LASIK again so that I could get rid of my glasses for good, or so I thought. Being the risk averse person that I was, I started looking more into the risks and complications associated with laser eye surgery, and I found your website (among several others). These websites are what saved my eyesight and my sanity! I had no idea that complications and regression were so common after laser eye surgery; I had thought I could expect perfect vision for the rest of my life. I also had no idea that the corneal flap NEVER heals!!! That is a terrifying thought, especially since nobody really knows about the long-term side effects of LASIK surgery. Since my discoveries, I am 100% certain I will never let a laser near my eyes, and I've been telling all my nearsighted friends and family to stay away from LASIK. I have also accepted the fact that I am going to be bespectacled for the rest of my life; if my only other options are to be uncomfortably dry in contacts or to have permanently damaged lasered eyes and messed-up vision, then I am perfectly happy to wear glasses. I have invested in a few pairs of cute frames and have made my glasses a part of my "look." I am so thankful to be able to put on a pair of glasses every day and to have crisp, clear vision. I love wearing my glasses, and I am so grateful to you all for convincing me (and many others) to stay away from LASIK surgery!

Simona - 6/7/2014

In 2002 I had lazik [sic] eye surgery by Dr. Ellis in San Jose. I had stigma [sic] in both eyes and -8.75 power. The doctor told me that I would be very happy with my vision. Several years later I noticed a decline in my vision and went to see him. He told me than that he didn't cut in as much as he should of but he sent me away saying no big deal as I get older I will be able to see near and far. Around 2011 when I was diagnosed with cancer I went to see a doctor who eventually gave me a new cornea transplant. I didn't understand the seriousness of my failing vision then. I remember when I went to the eye doctor he was very alarmed on how Dr. Ellis badly did my eyes. To make a long story short. It hit me like a ton of bricks when I couldn't pass my driver vision and now I can not even read. I do not believe in sueing [sic] but I may need assistant [sic] if I can no longer care for my self like I use to. Oh I have Keratocunus [sic] and I truly believe he knew that at the time.

Yossy - 3/20/2014

I'm a volunteer staff member of Lasik Victims Association in Japan. Have you read an article titled "Citing complaints, agency cautions about Lasik" (Dec. 5, 2013) in the Japan Times?

"74 percent of the 600 people contacted said they were satisfied with the outcome" in this article is a mistranslation.

The survey revealed that only 49.7 percent of those underwent Lasik surgery answered that both "my eyesight has improved as expected" in question 8 (74.3%) and "there is not any eye problems after LASIK surgery" in question 11 (56.8%). That is, "74 percent of the 600 people" in the Japan Time's article refers not to the percentage of people who were satisfied with the outcome but to the percentage of people whose eyesight has improved as expected. Some of them are not satisfied with the results because they have eye complications after Lasik surgery. The correct percentage of those who are satisfied with the results of Lasik surgery, therefore, is not 74 percent but 49.7 percent.

I translated this survey report (pp.10-17 in into English, so I appreciate it if you read it. Link to English translation

Since Consumer Affairs Agency cautioned us the danger of LASIK surgery in Dec. 4, 2003, the number of those who undergo LASIK surgery have drastically declined in Japan. I hope non-Japanese also read this report.

G.K. - 3/15/2014

Thank you very much for your web site. It is very well done: very informative and well presented. I am short sighted, have never had any surgery performed on my eyes and will definitely never do but I find your web site very useful. I've already warned my Family members about lasik (although None of them has ever really considered having that procedure done). I hope you're not experiencing too many difficulties from lasik surgeons. Anyway, I wish you good luck, Patience, strength and wisdom to deal with that. Thanks again for what you've done. That's priceless to many people.

Anonymous - 3/6/2014

I had blade-free lasik performed in September, 2011 and have regretted almost every day since. Although my vision was corrected, I now have to deal with dry eyes that I cannot get any real relief from. When I reported this fact at my follow up appointment the doctor told me that the issue should resolve itself in 6 months to a year. This never occurred and it is a constant struggle with my eyes. I have used pretty much every brand of eye drop, use a gel at night, have had punctal plugs inserted, and even started taking a fish oil supplement. Nothing seems to work. This whole thing has dramatically decreased my quality of life. Everyday I wish I could go back in time, do some proper research, and never had chosen to do the procedure. I try to hold out hope that maybe there will be a solution some day but it doesn't seem like that will happen. From the time I wake up in the morning until the time I go to bed my eyes bug me and I am constantly reminded of the stupid decision I made. What is worse is that this debilitating condition is not apparent to others and it feels like I am living a one-man struggle.

Connie - 2/14/2014

LASIK was the worse mistake I ever made in my life. Not only is my vision 11 years later worse than it was before LASIK, I live in extreme pain due to severe dry eyes. My eyes now have such bad irregular astimagtism that I cannot get glasses with a decent prescription and I cannot wear contacts due to the dry eyes. LASIK has ruined my life. I cannot drive at night at all so I feel like a prisoner.

Christy B. - 12/4/2013

I was diagnosed with corneal ectasia on 9/10/2013. On 8/15/2001 I had LASIK surgery performed on both eyes. After many months deciding about getting the procedure done. I investigated many companies out there and ended up choosing [redacted]. At the time of my Pre-Op exam I was examined and was told I qualified and was a good candidate for the procedure and was told my options of different pricing and treatments. My surgery was performed by Dr.[redacted]. I remember being so excited about getting my surgery that I couldn't sleep the prior night. Continue reading

Anonymous - 11/18/2013

I wanted to thank you for this site!!  I had my Lasik appointment booked and had decided to do my own research beforehand since my appointment was several weeks away. The Lasik clinic that I attended for consultation did give me a detailed booklet on potential complications.  The issue of  "dry eyes " really disturbed me and when I called the clinic for further clarification they assured me it was  "temporary...lasting no more than three months " and if prolonged it was easily handled  "with drops ".  I then started doing my own research and came across your site. Continue reading

Stacy L. - 11/13/2013

Thank you immensely for this website!! The candid testimonies and excerpts from studies presented here have completely changed my opinion of laser eye surgery and have led me to cancel my appointment for this procedure (it was scheduled for a month from now). I have been wearing glasses since I was 9 and currently have high myopia (-8.5, -7.0). I had waited so long to be of an age where it was safe to get LASIK and was so carried away by the prospect of never needing to put anything in or on my eyes again to see, that I completely disregarded all of the risks and possible complications. Continue reading

Sam's story - 4/23/2013

I had LASIK in 2002 when I was 24 years old. At first it worked perfectly, correcting my vision from 20/400 to 20/15. After about a nine months, my vision slowly started to deteriorate, but only slightly. I went back to the surgeon and they offered a free "enhancement" which I took "Advantage" of. Over the years my vision in both eyes slowly degraded such that I wear glasses at all times. My vision at night is the most annoying with blurriness and ghosted images of light sources. Continue reading

My LASIK Nightmare - A journey to find my sight again: by Kelly Daspit on InfoBarrel 3/4/2013

From the article: I was a perfect candidate for LASIK surgery. At least that's what the doctor who screened me to see if I qualified said. A little nervous about the possibility of having my eyes seared by burning beams of light, I asked the technician If anyone had ever had their eyes ruined by LASIK. "Well, yes," she admitted, "but it's one in a million. And that won't happen to you, you'll be fine." Ten years later I can still hear the exact tone and pitch of her words as she assured me that I would be fine. But I wasn't fine...

Link to article

Email from a physician - 2/9/2013

I am a physician. I had bilateral LASIK surgery 7 years ago, everything went well. I had the "obvious" side effects: glares, halos, difficult night vision, dry eye, neovascularity, sensitivity to light. I did not mind that, at least I was free of using glasses. I started to have floaters in my left eye 5 months ago, I am young, healthy and had no previous trauma. My myopia was mild before surgery. There is no explanation to what the ophthalmologist found out this week: I had floaters, retina damage (superior) in both eyes, probable posterior vitreous detachment (left) and need laser photocoagulation, urgently so I could avoid retinal detachment. I suspect is all derived from the lasik surgical procedural in my eyes. I would urge you to reconsider the safety of lasik procedure, for the sake of patients health, not minding all the money and enrichment that would be lost.

Nancy G. - 1/14/2013

I had Lasik surgery in 2004. I was given "mono vision" at first, but did not like it. Had a second surgery to my right eye the following week to correct it. Complained about dry eyes and given prescription for Restasis. About 4 1/2 years ago noticied that I was having problems with seeing far, very foggy. Had to squint. Also having dificulty driving at night, lots of star bursts, halos, etc. Was told in 2011, that I had cataracts... Continue reading

Gary G. - 12/26/2012

I'm 29 years old and I got my LASIK surgery in September of 2011, one month after my tour in Iraq was over for the military. After the first couple of weeks everything was alright. However, my right eye ended up getting infected with mycobacterium chelonae and took me almost six month to treat and cure. I had to use a fortified antibiotic shipped over to me from California. Unfortunately my health insurance doesn't cover it and I had to shell out over $150 per bottle (I had to use three to cure the disease). Sometime in the summer of 2012 the bacteria went away but my eyes continued to tear up excessively and my vision in my right eye was blurry. At night I end up seeing halos and starbursts from street lamps and oncoming traffic headlights. After finding this website and some more research on the web I realized I have Chronic Dry Eyes from the LASIK (They preformed LASIK the first time, then PRK two weeks after the bacteria). Now I can't get my eyes to stop watering, even with the drops I usually use. I was thinking about using this new medicine called RESTASIS, but I can't find any drug store in my city that can prescribe it to me.

M. Adams - 12/18/2012

I'm 38 yrs old and had Lasik performed on my eyes in March of this year (2012). The doctor that performed the procedure told me that I had a cataract in my right eye and that I would need to have it removed in probably 10-15 years. They did the Lasik and within 3 months the cataract had grown so quickly that I could not drive at night anymore. I had to have cataract surgery in September. As I was healing from that, my vision started to quickly fade in the left eye and I was diagnosed with a cataract in that eye as well. I had to have it removed this month. Now after spending close to $7000, my vision is worse than before I first went to this facility.

Ryan - 11/28/2012

I just had LASIK a month ago. I did some research and also have known at least 5 people that have had it done. The research that I found shows such a low percentage of complication and generally portrayed good outcomes. I never saw this website before I had the procedure... Continue reading

Arleen - 7/26/2012

I had LASIK in 2008.....The doctor was well-known and considered very well-skilled. I had my optometrist perform the actual visual tests each month, with my contacts off for 6 months. The optometrist did the pre-op and faxed it to the LASIK specialist...But somehow, my records were mixed up --- and the wrong prescription -- a "transcription" error occurred. They used the wrong chart! The doctor did not apologize, but I was told to come back to his office in 2-3 months for an enhancement. In the interim, I went to other ophthalmologists. Their conclusion: with the wrong prescription, my eyes had been over-corrected and there was not sufficient corneal tissue for an "enhancement" (I have about 430 microns of corneal tissue in each eye)....There has been such distortion with my vision that I have been fitted with numerous glasses and lenses called "reverse geometry" that compress the cornea. My cornea's are now too flat for any further LASIK surgery. I had to contact attorneys. After 3 years of litigation, I was forced to settle out of court --- leaving me about $36,000 in debt with costs for trying to repair and find options for distorted vision......It has changed my life. Depression has been constant. I understand what it feels like to be suicidal.......The laws and the attorneys -- not only for doctors, but representing insurance companies -- and other doctors not willing to testify against colleagues is horrid -- and a sin.

Tad - 7/21/2012

This is to inform anyone about the dangers of eye surgery. I had RK when I was 27 years old. I am 55 now. Although the surgery (and the surgeons) may fool you into thinking it is safe, it is not. Even though my sight was around 20/400 when I received the surgery, and I had a few good years of sight aroungd 20/50, I am suffering now. I cannot see well near or far. I need glasses for both distances and my near sight is really poor, to the point of being afraid I will lose my career because of the difficulty in reading. Please, I beg of you, DO NOT MAKE THE MISTAKE I MADE! Seriously review the statements on this web page, they will enlighten you. There is NOTHING more important than your sight. Period.

Gail Brion - 7/5/2012

Thank you for continuing to educate people about the very real and permanent complications of LASIK. I wish there had been a website like this back in 1999. It would be so wonderful to wake up, not see the clock clearly, then put on my glasses and see everything perfectly in focus w/o glare, halos, and loss of contrast sensitivity. I miss driving at night. I miss reading. I hope that this website keeps others from ending up like me. Keep it up!

Salman Madanat - 5/7/2012

I had Lasik in 2002 and my doctor insisted my right eye be lasered 3 times due to poor vision. About 1 month later he told me the right eye had astigmatism he did not know about and my vision would be poor...

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Doreen Schleifer, Psychologist - 5/1/2012

I had LASIK 9 years ago-with great success. Went from -11 to 20/20 vision- until now. I developed aggressive cataracts (I am 50 years old). I had surgery with the LASIK surgeon thinking he knew my eyes. MISTAKE 1- he never looked at my old records and dismissed my concerns and complaints after surgery as those of an hysterical woman. I am now with another surgeon who says I was a poor candidate for LASIK which is causing all kinds of problems for IOLS,including double vision, poor vision at all distances, uncorrectable eye sight...

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Email from a patient who experienced eyelid edema after LASIK - 3/28/2012

Almost a month ago, I underwent a bilateral LASIK operation to correct my nearsightedness and astigmatism. Now, not only the quality of my vision fluctuates, I see halos and I got problems with reading and so on, after the operation I noticed a diffuse unilateral upper eyelid edema which is painless and not even red but has destroyed the looks of my gorgeous eyes...

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My Wish: Email sent to an eye doctor - 11/25/2011

My Wish: I had Lasik eye surgery in August 2009. Two weeks later I started to suffer with severe headaches and severe eye pain, in addition I had sudden vision regression... The intensity and constancy of corneal neuralgia can be incapacitating. It has been 2 years and 3 months of daily chronic pain. I am desperately searching for help!...

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Email from a surgeon in another specialty - 9/24/2011

Unnecessary vs Elective Surgery - Since all surgery has the potential for complications, the condition we are treating must fail conservative management before offering an operation. This helps determine whether the surgery is necessary. I am unaware of any condition Lasik is used to treat that cannot be managed by glasses or contact lenses. If conservative management works, ethical doctors don't offer a patient unnecessary surgery--even if the patient thinks they want it. This should be especially true for Lasik, since the reported complications are life altering.

Joe Tye - Do not trust Wolfe Eye Clinic for LASIK

PRK nightmare - 8/16/2011

No one could tell me for sure that the double vision would go away along with the star bursts and blurring. So I stressed out and eventually became depressed and had to be hospitalized and go on medication... In 2010 I noticed that I had flickers of light in my corrected left eye so I visited my eye doctor who said he saw a tear in my retina... The surgery at the time was probably a couple of thousand dollars for one eye, but the cost of the treatment for acute depression and time lost at work was over $10,000, so this was a costly choice and a life lesson...

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Saved from LASIK - 8/12/2011

I now know that even having the most experienced surgeon and the clinic with the most modern laser, it just isn't worth the risk of future costly eye-related problems to have LASIK performed at all, and I will also be recommending to any friends or colleagues I know who are considering it to avoid it. I'm actually ashamed with myself now for even considering it as I'm usually very careful to do my research before considering ANYTHING. To all those that are now suffering from and regretting having laser correction surgery, you have my sincerest sympathies and I look forward to the day when it is finally banned...

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Thankful mother cancels daughter's LASIK surgery - 5/18/2011

I cannot thank you enough for this website. You have saved my daughter's eyes. She was scheduled for Lasik on June 3rd but when I was doing research on the bad effects of Lasik I found your site thanks to someone who referred to it in his letter. I immediately cancelled her procedure and sat her down in front of your website to research it for herself. It is heartbreaking to read the testimonies of all of the people who have suffered so horribly from Lasik. Something needs to be done to stop this procedure from ever being performed on anyone. I am telling everyone I know to warn everyone they know about the dangers of Lasik and refer them to this website.

PRK patient email - 5/10/2011

I had standard PRK on 2/3/2011 for -8.50. I had it done at a office I had been going to for years. I was lied to about standard vs custom and optical zones. Never told my pupil was larger than the corrected area. The programmed area was a multizone 5.5mm and 6mm which turned out to be a 4mm corrected area with a pupil that is usually about 6mm to 8mm. I have starbursting off everything shiny. I have glare and ghosting. One eye was corrected for astigmatism that I was never corrected for in glasses. That eye is the worst. I am a creative person and this is very depressing to me everday. I honestly believe the doctor knew this would happen to me. Doctor denied pupil size is an issue.

E-mail - 2/23/2011

Had LASIK in Dec 2005. Right eye went blurry in 2007. Went to Dr. office that did LASIK (TLC) and they gave me all kinds of drugs and said I was allergic to something that was making my eye blurry. Found out I'm not allergic to anything. Went to a "specialist" and was told I have keratoconus, and that I needed a 12K surgery per each eye to MAYBE fix. I'd pretty much given up at this point. Lies, and alot of money later I'm sitting here closing my right eye so I can focus on the computer screen.

Don't Get Lasik - From an MD 2/17/2011

Dear All, I am a physician (not an eye doctor or eye surgeon, but I do have an MD). With every fiber in my body, I wholeheartedly recommend AGAINST getting lasik surgery. Here are a few things to keep in mind: 1) Lasik surgery is 100% elective - there is no medical indication for it 2) Worst case scenario for undergoing lasik - blindness 3) Worst case scenario for not undergoing lasik - continuing to wear glasses or contacts...

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Noel Harris - 2/9/2011

Thank you so much for the information on your website. I had been investigating LASIK on the web for two weeks. Eventually I came across this website, I had previously not even heard of ectasia. It is not mentioned anywhere on any of the so called "clinic" websites. And when you Google simple terms such as "laser eye problems" all you realise is that the companies have paid for search terms that refer you to the companies you want to look into! I am so grateful for the work you are all doing, I will never have this treatment. I am so happy for myself, but so sad for all the people who have had it. It seems to be a ticking timebomb for millions. So glad I read this first.

Samantha Lee | Los Angeles, California - 2/9/2011

I had LASIK done about 10 years ago and my life has not been the same. My vision was so poor that I needed an enchancement after the first surgery... Throughout the years, I've been to many different surgeons, corneal specialists and opthamalogists and spent thousands of dollars trying to improve my vision and I was disappointed everytime. My eyes are so dry that I use eye drops every 2 hours. I lost my ability and confidence to drive at night because all I see is halos and glare.

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Samer Morcos, MD - 12/29/2010

I had Lasik in 2003. Things were good for 2-3 years then my vision started to deteriorate requiring glasses. Could not correct my left eye with glasses any more because of high astigmatism. Finally was diagnosed with [left eye] ectasia. My Dr. advised me to do corneal crosslinking in Europe instead of waiting for the FDA to approve the procedure in the US. I did the procedure in Zurich, Switzerland last February. Now I wear RGP contact in the left and glasses for the right eye. My night vision is completely messed up with halos and double vision. I am so worried about having ectasia in my right eye. I am a physician and worried about losing my ability to work one day.

Patient treated on latest LASIK technology submits comment on - 11/13/2010

I had Lasik in 2009, having been told I was a perfect candidate and that it was a safe procedure. The business (TLC) told me that the risks of Lasik no longer existed for patients like myself. I suffer from severe reading complications (blurring, double vision uncorrectable with glasses, eyestrain) that have put my career as a scholar in jeopardy; eye pain (due to severe eye strain and severe dry eye) that makes it hard to function every day; and night vision disturbances which make it extremely stressful to drive. If I can't get rid of the pain and be able to read again, I don't know what I'll do. I have been depressed and contemplated suicide because no one should have to go on in this kind of misery...

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Patient treated on latest custom wavefront LASIK technology - Received 11/26/2010

I wish I had done more research and read your site before I underwent custom Wavefront LASIK. It would have helped me and I could have avoided being another LASIK disaster. I am now trying to cope and live with the complications. I have had LASIK twice now.

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Sabrina Garrison's story - Received 9/22/2010

In 2006, I got Lasik surgery on both eyes. I was never warned about having bilateral eye surgery dangers or the fact that the dry eye would continue to be a problem for years after the surgery. I was told they might be dry at first, then clear up. Every risk was downplayed!.. And now, after only 4 years, I'm having a difficult time seeing distances again... To those of you out there: Wear glasses!

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Neurologist submits LASIK complaint to the FDA - Received by FDA 8/2/2010

Excerpt: Young adults in the prime of their life are having elective surgery with the risk of potentially life altering adverse events for which there is little therapy. Post LASIK dry eye is a completely different ball park from age related aqueous deficiency dry eye -both in terms of associated pain and relative resistance to the usual therapies despite what ophthalmologists involved with LASIK continue to suggest. The fact that those consenting patients to LASIK are financially motivated makes it even more important that non-biased audit and regulation of this surgery is carried out. Sadly is suspect given another 5-10 yrs, we will have a generation of refractive surgery patients whose life has been de-railed/destroyed by LASIK complications, a generation of doctors and companies that have profited from the unchecked/unregulated proliferation of this surgery and a group of regulators who will look back on the fiasco perhaps to consider whether the patients' best interests have really been served in the way this surgery has been introduced and allowed to escalate unchecked and unregulated. For myself, I do not know what the future holds but a single uninformed decision at the age [redacted] has wrecked my quality of life and I urge you to move to collect data on long-term risks without further delay and to regulate/standardise the consent process of this procedure in light of this data. I find it hard to believe this was not a requirement of the original approval process.

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Police officer email - 6/8/2010

I wanted to say thank you. I believe this website saved me and my family from destruction. I was a day away from getting lasik when I found this site. I was told I was a perfect candidate, even tho I have a severe astigmatism and I cannot wear contacts due to my eyes getting dry and itchy. They assured me that that would have no bearing on the results of the procedure. I see from reading other stories that those two factors appear to put me in a higher risk category for dry eyes and other complications. I am a police officer who works at night in the dark. I also have my first child on the way. I can only imagine what would happen to my life if my eyes were butchered and I had to quit my job due to the complications. How depressed I would be. Thank you all for sharing your stories. I am truly grateful.

Tricia's LASIK Story

In the spring of 2000, I was 20 years old who's "dream" of having Lasik became a reality. To begin with, I thought this procedure was truly a miracle. I mean how is it possible to be sooo blind and then see without prescription glasses or contacts? Less than two years later, my vision declined and I began to wear glasses. I wasn't seeing "clearly" with them, but it was better than nothing. As time passed, my vision continued to decline. I finally got a diagnosis in 2004 as Ectasia / Keratectasia after LASIK after many, many doctor visits/tests at various cities. I underwent a cornea transplant in 2008 on my left eye. This has been such a struggle! The donor cornea tried to reject me and I had to go thru a procedure to save it...

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Lynn Hamilton, Ashland VA

During the 2-hour comprehensive exam, I was shown a movie, my eyes were dilated, went though more visual tests, and the doctor confirmed I was a good candidate and my eyes were in excellent condition for the procedure. The last test was to rescan my corneas so the InterLase would have a current corneal map to remove the correct amount of tissue. For some reason the WaveScan wouldn’t work on my left eye and the nurse asked the doctor if he could use the scan created during my April 15th visit. He said it was okay to use the older scan. Why didn't it work and could this be the reason I'm having visual problems with the left eye? In November, frustration pushed me to a second opinion...

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Video of LASIK Patient, Joe Tye - Before You Let Them Cut on Your Eyes

Comment from reader - 3/12/2010

You guys are heroes, whoever you are. Thank you for putting this website together. I recently went back to the optometrist to get new glasses and was aggressively pushed to have lasik surgery. She ([REDACTED]) literally tried to get me to sign up right then and there, asking me probing questions about my insurance and deductables. Scare tactics in the extreme were used when I refused. She also wrote me out a prescription that was 1 whole diopter too powerful and hurt my eyes ([REDACTED] eventually refunded the money.) There is a sick relationship between optometrists posturing as "doctors" shoving people toward bottom-rung actual snake oil M.D.'s looking to make quick bucks on laser surgery. I'm sure the kickbacks for referrals are a lot more lucrative for her than doing "boring" eye exams all day providing people with real value-- a pair of eye glasses... All these people's lives being destroyed... the loss of sleep and worry caused by all the lies told to patients... Thanks again guys, you are AWESOME.

Patient emails doctor seeking help after disastrous monovision LASIK

A brief synopsis of my problems after Lasik surgery in May of 2009... I'm a reserve Deputy Sheriff and work full-time for [redacted] so I'm in the field all day and every day and changing from sun glasses to reading glasses started to become quite problematic. WOW, what I would do to have those problems back after the absolute devastation to my life... I'm currently suffering from extreme dry-eye, red-eye, painful-eye, lost vision up close, lost vision at night and extreme sensitivity to sun light after I was assured how safe the procedure was and I was told their track record was perfect by the Dr. and her staff and I would be without glasses or contacts.

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Letter to the Editor 1/31/2010

Happy LASIK patients may not realize or acknowledge the harm they suffered from LASIK for years; nonetheless, the damage is there. Medical research demonstrates (a) that the LASIK flap never heals and may be accidentally dislodged for the rest of a patient's lifetime, (b) that the cornea is permanently weakened and may develop ectasia weeks, months, or years later, leading to vision loss, (c) that corneal nerves which stimulate tear production are severed and destroyed during LASIK, and that these nerves never fully recover -- potentially leading to permanent dry eye disease and/or chronic corneal neuropathy (eye pain), (d) that having LASIK causes problems in the future for glaucoma screening and cataract surgery -- prompting the FDA to recommend that LASIK patients obtain a copy of their LASIK medical record, (e) persistent decrease in corneal cells (keratocytes) -- it is unknown how this decrease affects long-term viability of the cornea, and (f) that visual quality at night is permanently reduced after LASIK, even when the patient has 20/20 or better daytime vision. To add insult to injury, visual outcomes of LASIK decline over time. "LASIK success" is like saying "the surgery was a success but the patient died".

Cataract Surgery Multifocal Lens Implant Followed by LASIK

After implantation of the lens, the patient's vision was not clear. In an attempt to correct this, the surgeon performed LASIK on her eye. In this case, the LASIK surgery created more problems than it solved. The patient's pupils are larger that the optical zone of the implanted lens. In addition, she sees glare, flare and multiple images due to her irregular post-LASIK cornea.

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The National Research Center for Women & Families, FDA LASIK docket comment - 9/14/2009

From the letter: To ensure informed consent, the FDA should reach out more effectively to mass media about their LASIK warnings and require that physicians using LASIK devices provide short-easy to understand booklets about LASIK risks at least one week prior to the procedure. The information in the booklets should be reiterated by the health professionals, not undermined with reassuring statements such as “this procedure is very safe” or “all my patients are very happy.”

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"I just wanted to see the clock in the morning" - Anonymous

I'm not 20/20 anymore. Like a lot of LASIK patients, my vision regressed. I just wish it had regressed right back to exactly the way it was before LASIK. I no longer just see the soft blur of myopia, even though I am nearsighted again. Now my out-of-focus vision is sort of superimposed with a distorted image caused by LASIK. Glasses correct the myopia, but the distorted image remains. It's like being trapped behind someone else's contact lenses -- someone else's very dirty, scratchy contact lenses.

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Natalie - Brunswick, Maine

I had Lasik on 7/14/06 after receiving a flyer from Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine, telling me to "Throw Away my Glasses or Contact Lenses" and that Lasik was "Safe and Effective" and no, there was no mention of risks on the flyer. Within days of the surgery I developed severe dry eye that then spiraled into a full blown and severe case of blepharitis.

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Patient undergoes multiple surgeries after failed LASIK

Patient with advanced keratoconus undergoes LASIK, 5 PRK retreatments, LASIK retreatment, develops ectasia, undergoes right eye corneal transplant, LASIK on the transplant, LASIK retreatment on the transplant, corneal transplant on the left eye, bilateral INTACS, and cataract surgery.

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Grateful for finding this website

I had a consultation on Friday, 2 days ago, that was very professional and reassuring... I was really ready to go for it! But tonight I was thinking more about how much I rely on my eyesight and how many things I would not be able to do if I became blind or had my vision impaired... So, I did more web searching and found your site...

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Ophthalmologist tells the FDA, "We are playing Russian roulette with these patients".

This letter addresses my concern about the safety of lasik surgery. I have practiced ophthalmology for thirty-three years. After taking all the courses on LASIK, I decided not to do the surgery. I believe LASIK surgery is not consistent with the ophthalmologist's hypocritic oath of "first do no harm."

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Military physician serving in Iraq: LASIK testimonial

Read the experience of a military physician who experienced complications of LASIK and witnesses first-hand the devastating impact of post-LASIK dry eyes on soldiers and marines in Iraq.

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Ophthalmologist comments on citizen petition to ban LASIK

The statement that "one percent" or "less than one percent" of patients undergoing refractive surgery experiences complications is widely quoted in the lay press and is often stated by refractive surgeons, who also report their anecdotal experience with many satisfied patients. My purpose in writing today is to debunk this number.

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Ophthalmologist expresses serious concerns to the FDA about the practice of LASIK

After several years of immersion in parts of the refractive surgery literature, and review of data sources such as written FDA documents and MDR reports and the minutes of other ODP meetings, I have concluded that there are serious problems with the FDA's management of corneal refractive surgery clinical trials, device approval, and post-market surveillance... Failure to ensure that the clinical trials included tests to effectively quantify perceptible visual aberrations (commonly described as starbursts and halos) induced by a polyfocal cornea overlying the entrance pupil, and to determine their impact on daily vision function (glare disability)... Failure to adequately consider the financial disincentive of refractive surgeons to report poor post-market outcomes which might be device-related -- "don't ask (the patient) and don't tell (the manufacturer or the FDA)."

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Physician writes to the FDA, "This procedure is in one word, immoral".

I have learned the hard way that if given the permission to do harm, it will be done if the financial reward is worth the risk. The FDA can act now to help prevent future lives from being ruined. By removing the option for refractive surgeons to make a market out of selling a person a dream, you will be saving lives... The field of ophthalmology was doing just fine financially before refractive surgery and it will be just fine once it is discontinued... I would be the last person to speak badly about another physician because we all make mistakes from time to time, but this sub-speciality has been taken over by money and this procedure is in one word, immoral... I can't help but wonder if someone from the AMA or FDA had just said, "We are drawing the line here, the eyes are just too important", myself and about 50,000 others or more would not be dealing with life long complications from a medically unnecessary procedure.

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Former President, CFO of large LASIK provider recommends greater scrutiny of LASIK

I want to express my concern over the lack of oversight of surgeons performing LASIK. As the former President and CFO of a large LASIK provider in California, I have been appalled at the nonchalant attitude so many surgeons have when performing this procedure... I also believe the studies showing 1 out of 20 are dissatisfied under represents the real numbers.

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Ophthalmologist warns the FDA that LASIK-induced ectasia is a serious problem

Myself as a refractive surgeon I see many patients with many serious problems after LASIK, notably keratectasia... I feel there has been a great disservice to the patients by doing LASIK for so many years... One remarkable point is the new treatment for keratectasia. Prior to the introduction of cornea cross linking [CCL] treatment every body asked about keratectasia was stating that they did not have any cases. Standard statement was, I did thousands procedures and I never have keratectasia. Now that CCL is available the very same surgeons present clinical trials with the beneficial results of CCL after LASIK induced keratectasia.

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Manifesto of LASIK regret and despair...

When I went in for the surgery LASIK, I remembered that I was nervous. I was presented with 3 valiums were pushed at me to swallow and then they wanted me to read the consent form. I do not usually take drugs so I put the 3 vailums down on a table and began to read the consent form...

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Letter to the FDA, Life in LASIK Hell

As it turns out, the hyperopia was not the worst symptom. Since I had my surgery in the spring, the long periods of sunlight masked the glare, halos and starbursts that would be the focus of my most intense fears. I soon discovered that stop lights at night were an unrecognizable mess of glare, LED lights created huge streaks of light, etc. My fear now became panic... Sixteen months of hell for me and my family; untold thousands of dollars on surgery, optometrists, glasses, and contact lenses and I still had terrible vision.

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Lancaster New Era: Letter to Editor 2/14/2008

"This is in response to the Lancaster New Era's Saturday, Feb. 9, article entitled "When Lasik fails." After reading this article, I knew I needed to tell my story. I had Lasik surgery in October of 2002 and my life has never been the same since. The surgery has left me with severe  dry eye, halos, starbursts and extreme sensitivity to light. I cannot be around heaters or any type of forced air flow.  Air-conditioning makes my eyes worse. Because of this problem, I have trouble going to malls, restaurants or even going for a walk on a windy day. I have had punctual plugs, tried just about every eye drop on the market, wear special "goggles" to keep air away from my eyes and wear sunglasses most of the time to cut down on glare. I have seen five ophthalmologists (two at Johns Hopkins) and none of them will say my problems are a direct result of Lasik surgery. I cannot read or watch TV for long periods of time. Computer work is totally out for me as it makes my dry eye much worse. A simple pleasure such as a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, I can no longer enjoy as these are diuretics and affect my eyes.I have lost two homes, had to quit three jobs and have gone through all my savings since having this procedure done.  Is there a correlation between depression and this procedure? You be the judge!"

Linda Shifflet


Link to source

LASIK Bait and Switch Trick - Anonymous

I had become contact lens intolerant and was considering LASIK surgery when I saw the LASIK ad in the newspaper. The price sounded almost too good to be true... Later on I would learn that the laser that was used on me couldn't treat less than .5 D astigmatism. The LASIK center had tried to scam me into paying twice the quoted price.

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LASIK Surgeon Greed - Written by an Ophthalmologist

Unfortunately, some doctors allow greed to get in the way of a patient's best interest... It is an outrage that the profit-motivated refractive surgeon is relegated the responsibility of providing "informed consent". This is a blatant conflict of interest... While I am no fan of the malpractice profession, its sting should be felt by those who set aside their Hippocratic oath for short term profitability and volatile patient satisfaction.

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Police Officer Loses Sight after LASIK, Requires Corneal Transplant

My name is Patrick Sheahan. I had lasik eye surgery at the age of 23. When I went in for a consultation at [redacted] they said I was a perfect candidate. I was only -1.25 in each eye and could almost make due without glasses. After the lasik surgery my left eye slowly started to deteriorate...

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My lasik travesty then began in mid-2003, where, after a lengthy sales pitch and many lies, I was butchered. I was relatively calm the first year. The double vision, I was assured, would go away, due to the fact that the “cornea heals slowly.” I was also told to not worry, because the dryness in my eyes would subside after about six to ten months…

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Risky Practices of LASIK Surgeons - Anonymous

It's as if LASIK surgeons feel it's better not to know the true thickness of the flap in order to protect themselves from liability... Reuse of blades is known to increase the risk of complications, but LASIK surgeons apparently don't care...

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Iowa patient

Anyway, I decided to go through with it. I am a natural pessimist, so I struggled mightily with the decision. I knew that there were risks. Of course, I was lied to and told that new technology has “virtually eliminated” the risks. I was sold the biggest bottle of snake oil of all time, and drank it all, because I wanted to believe.

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Jeff, Fayetteville NC

After the [LASIK] seminar I felt so selfish and very bad for the people that were signing up to have this procedure done to them that was being unknowingly sugar coated. And obviously for the woman what had it done right in front of me, and doesn't realise what just happened to the only set of eyes she will ever have.

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Letter from an MD: "... if there is a Hell, there is a special place in it for refractive surgeons."

I have severe dry eye and had to have both my lower puncta cauterized three months ago. I've also developed erratic visual acuity and loss of contrast sensitivity; glasses and contacts can't help since refraction for me is a moving target. I also now have terrible accommodative dysfunction which no one seems to be able to explain. I guess this generates a lot of the eye pain that I experience.

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Patient Letter - Name Withheld by Request

If you would have difficulty handling lifelong, permanent, irreparable and debilitating damage to your vision and/or eye pain, then do NOT under any circumstances have any elective surgery (refractive or otherwise) on your eyes.

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Patient "Doing Well" - Name Withheld by Request

"doing well"...Those words sum up the victimization of patients. No matter how bad the situation, the doctor writes it off, dismisses it.

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Custom LASIK Devastates 21-Year Old

"They told me it would go away in a few days, then a week, then a month...that it was 'contrast sensitivity' and that it was perfectly normal...

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Complications are EVERYWHERE!

Here is a list of the people I have encountered with LASIK complications since my surgery a number of months ago:

1. A young man (mid 20'S) sitting in my surgeon's waiting room with me also had large pupils and has severe night vision starbursts and halos...

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